For me it was the opportunity to work for a couple of years with "Old Joe" who showed me that you do not need any fancy tools to recruit, just your briefcase (stuffed with resumes), your phone, your contacts and your perseverance. Old Joe could recruit almost anyone. Yes he was connected but his persevarance was legendary. Hearing him work a candidate or client on the phone was magic, as by the end of the call they were convinced to meet him, send or resume or give him business. When he met with customers, he always had a couple of "perfect fit" resumes ready, even before they gave him the work. Old Joe was pipelining top end candidates for certain companies even though he did not know or care about the word.

Joe did not have a website, a Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter account and worked out of his home and never marketed but he was a very rich man. I learnt a ton from this man.

 

What about you what made you a better recruiter, technology, years in the trenches, advice, candidate experience, mentor or something else?

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My "Old Joe" would have to be the previous owner of our firm, along with the VP. Both taught me a lot, being grounded in Christian principles of how to treat others. I needed help, especially since I had ZERO recruiting experience and came from a career in the IT industry. Two others stand out: Shally Steckerl and Dave Mendoza, who helped get me started on LinkedIn and whose advice and tips on other great recruiting tools made life a lot easier.

A+ Players (Mendoza, Shally), and Ancient Philosophy transcends time/space...   Good for You Ben!  Brian-

Ben Tovar said:

My "Old Joe" would have to be the previous owner of our firm, along with the VP. Both taught me a lot, being grounded in Christian principles of how to treat others. I needed help, especially since I had ZERO recruiting experience and came from a career in the IT industry. Two others stand out: Shally Steckerl and Dave Mendoza, who helped get me started on LinkedIn and whose advice and tips on other great recruiting tools made life a lot easier.

What made me a better recruiter was a trial by fire experience…being thrown into an extremely demanding corporate recruiting role...sink or swim.  There was no "Old Joe" for me from the perspective of having a seasoned friendly mentor as you shared here, Francois.  In fact I experienced the exact opposite. I was positioned to compete with a well established older recruiter (me w/3 yrs experience vs. he w/32 years of experience).  He wasn’t a mentor he was a competitor and as a new hire I was advised that if I didn’t out perform their top recruiter in the span of six months (my probationary period) I would be terminated.

 

Well I out performed my internal competitor in six months; and in two years, based on performance, I replaced the Employment and University Relations Manager who opposed my being hired in the first place.  That trail by fire experience sharpened me like no mentoring could do. 

 

When I told my eldest brother of that experience he said he could relate.  When he joined the Marines, and was into the training phase in preparation for Vietnam—he said they (the Drill Instructors) threw him and others into a large/deep swimming pool in full combat gear.  Problem was my brother never learned how to swim.  So, like me he explained, “I had to sink or swim.” 

 

In line with the theme of this blog--my eldest brother was my mentor very early on (my father was made 100% disabled from the Korean War…so our eldest brother took charge).  My eldest brother had me and eventually six other brothers and five sisters doing all kinds of sports—competing between ourselves and the neighborhood kids.  He wouldn’t accept anything less than our best—whether we were racing, fighting, working or just playing games.  He was notorious for having the brothers and himself challenge passers-by our home to a boxing match.  The size and skill of the competitor decided which brother would fight them.  It was a tough neighborhood so we saw a lot of action.  In that sense, my bro was my mentor and is my hero.  He was responsible for my interest in throwing the Discus—I would chase down his when he competed in HS and college. He survived two tours in Vietnam and is 100% disabled today due to the war, his combat related PTSD and other maladies related to exposure to agent orange.

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